Inspiring the next generation of Cyber Professionals

CyberFirst is a pivotal part of the UK government’s National Cyber Security Programme, helping young people explore their passion for tech by introducing them to the world of cyber security. Activities include development courses, a girls-only competition, a comprehensive bursary and apprenticeship schemes.

Each activity is designed to give talented young people the technical skills, practical experience and industry exposure they need to start their journey toward cyber-related careers and opportunities, preparing them for a possible role in making Britain the safest place to live and work online.

We live in a CyberFirst world

It’s hard to find an element of life that technology doesn’t touch. From gaming and chatting with friends to shopping or seeing a doctor, we’re constantly sharing our personal data. Data that needs protecting. Attacks on the digital infrastructure we rely on are increasing every day, both in terms of frequency and sophistication. So, stopping them means being smarter, more inquisitive and quicker to adapt. That’s where you come in.

CyberFirst is about using your passion for technology to shape the cyber security community of tomorrow. You don’t have to be a coder or secret software developer – we’re looking for people from all walks of life and backgrounds. Live streamers, Instagrammers, vloggers, gamers – whatever your thing is, it’s your enthusiasm we’re interested in.

To learn all kinds of practical insights into digital safety and how everyday technology really works, explore the activities below to see which is the right one for you.

CyberFirst courses

Interested in exploring and expanding what you know about online security? CyberFirst’s programme of free face-to-face and online courses could be just the thing to develop essential skills.

CyberFirst Trailblazers

Introduction to the exciting and fun world of Computer Science. Open to: UK students aged 12-13 years. Year 8 ENG and WLS, S2 SCT, Year 9 NI.

CyberFirst Adventurers

Investigate the world of Computer Science further to help you choose your GCSE subjects. Open to: UK students aged 13-14 years. Year 9 ENG and WLS, S3 SCT, Year 10 NI.

CyberFirst Defenders

A valuable introduction to the tools, knowledge and skills required to build and protect small networks and personal devices. Open to: UK students aged 14-15 years. Year 10 ENG and WLS, S4 SCT, Year 11 NI.

CyberFirst Futures

Explore advanced cyber security threats to devices, apps and software and investigate ways of protecting them. Open to: UK students aged 15-16 years. Year 11 ENG and WLS, S5 SCT, Year 12 NI.

CyberFirst Advanced

If you’re studying computer science at AS/A Levels or equivalents or have a real interest in computing, this one is for you. Open to: UK students aged 16-17 years. Year 12 ENG and WLS, S6 SCT, Year 13 NI.

CyberFirst Girls Development Days

Helping young women explore their passion for computers and technology, we run a series of courses introducing them to the fascinating world of cyber security. Open to girls in Year 8/9 in England and Wales, S2/S3 in Scotland and Year 9/10 in Northern Ireland.

Free courses running in October 2021.

Reserve your place

CyberFirst training courses for teachers

Calling all secondary school teachers. You can become your school's computer science champion.

Working with the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) and the British Computing Society (BCS), we offer a progressive learning path which will help you prepare your pupils for the pursuit of a cyber-security career.

Free courses running in November 2021.

Find out more

CyberFirst Degree Apprenticeship

The CyberFirst Degree Level Apprenticeship is a NEW three-year apprenticeship.

You can get exposure to some of the world’s most cutting-edge technologies along with practical insights into the innovative ways, that we use to provide cyber security to our customers. Successful applicants will be offered the opportunity to earn while you learn, with a salary and all the benefits that you would expect from a Civil Service organisation. You can find out more and register on the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) website.

Find out more and register

CyberFirst Bursary

The CyberFirst bursary scheme is led by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and aims to support and prepare undergraduates for a career in cyber security.

NCSC partners with other government departments and selected industry, offer students £4,000 per year and paid cyber skills training to help you kick start a career in cyber security. Each summer you will either: carry out work experience with cyber security teams in government or industry, for which you’ll be paid £250 per week plus accommodation. Or, offered paid cyber security training over an 8-week period known as CyberFirst Academy. You can find out more and register on the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) website.

Find out more and register

Get in touch

The courses, designed and developed by QA in collaboration with the NCSC, offer over 2500 free places to 12 to 17-year-old students annually at universities and colleges across the UK. In 2019 the CyberFirst courses were formally recognised by The Scottish Qualification Authority who credit rated them comparable to GSCE level, against their robust and rigorous educational framework.

If you have any questions about CyberFirst courses or other CyberFirst activities or are interested in supporting any events, please get in touch with us.

Email the team

Join the team

The CyberFirst team are always looking for passionate cyber security enthusiasts to help us inspire the next generation of cyber professionals.

If you are interested in any of the roles listed below and would like to apply, please get in touch with us for further information at CyberFirstAdministration@qa.com

Technical facilitators

If you are a current computing or cyber security student or a recent graduate, we have exciting paid work experience opportunities.

Guest speakers

If you are an industry or academic expert we’d like to invite you to share your personal, professional and educational experiences to inspire young people by talking about relevant areas of interest and demonstrating the roles and career opportunities which are available in the exciting field of cyber security.

Cyber security trainers

If you have experience teaching technical subjects to young people, we’d love to talk to you about a wide range of opportunities.